Directors who peaked early in their career vs those who peaked late

MessiahDecoy123

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I'd say Spielberg, Fincher, and Riddley Scott peaked early.

Who are some others who peaked early and also who peaked late?
 
Ultimate example of early peaker: Michael Cimino. Thunderbolt and Lightfoot first, then The Deer Hunter.

Then Heaven's Gate. Then career tailspin.
 
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This guy is kind of a late peaker: Terence Malick. He's been in the biz since the 1970s, but started almost a new personal renaissance in the late 1990s that continues to this day.
 
So many choices here that doesnt reall have a peak but have been pretty consisted through the whole career.
 
Eastwood's directorial output is far better late in his career than it was earlier. I'd disagree that Fincher peaked early, a peak suggests some kind of differential in their early/late work, whereas Fincher's Seven is just as good as Social Network. He's maintained a high level of film-making. Cimino is definitely the example of someone who peaked early.
 
Francis Ford Coppola. Between The Godfather I and II and Apocalypse Now, he hasn't done anything that has come close to those since 1979. He's made a few good movies here and there, but nothing to match the critical acclaim of his three best films.

Tim Burton. His best films are all from the late 80s/early 90s.

I also want to say Michael Bay. Say what you will about "The Rock", but it was much better received than everything else that followed.
 
It's funny, when you find out how old Spielberg was when he made it big, you start to feel bad about yourself!
 
So many choices here that doesnt reall have a peak but have been pretty consisted through the whole career.

I just view the thread's question as who started out extraordinarily well from the very beginning as opposed to those who only started being good later on in life.
 
I think it was Tarantino (on H. Stern ? ) that said most directors tend to get worst as time passes by (after a while , not directly since their debut) , and sometimes completely lose perspective of their own work (he gave a great example , Wilder). This was regarding the subject he didnt want to get to that point.

I kinda agree with him. Not peaking , but usually the latter works of great filmmakers pale in comparison to their masterpieces.
 
John Carpenter was awesome in the 80's (The Thing, Big Trouble in Little China, They Live Escape from NY).

and so was John McTiernan (sp?) who did Die Hard and Predator.

In the 90's they either lost their creative spark or stopped caring.
 
John Carpenter was abducted by aliens. It's the only plausible choice.

My childhood is based on Carpenter filmography lol. He's work is nothing short of amazing (still today !)....but then something happened.

A friend of mine had a little cinema site and one day he got a crazy possibility...phone interview with Carpenter. He , like me , was a complete carpenter fan. He said he never saw anyone talking so dispassionate about his legacy and his work. They end up talking about Ward where he told him he made the movie because it was close to his home lol
 
I'm actually finding it hard to think of a director who peaked late in their career. Kathryn Bigelow? I mean, Point Break was a hit but she didn't really get acclaim as a director until nearly two decades later with The Hurt Locker.
 
I'm actually finding it hard to think of a director who peaked late in their career. Kathryn Bigelow? I mean, Point Break was a hit but she didn't really get acclaim as a director until nearly two decades later with The Hurt Locker.

From a critical point of view , yeah she definitely changed the perception the audience had about her.

But i still prefer Strange Days as her strongest work.
 
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George Lucas most definitely peaked in the beginning of his career.
 
I'd say Spielberg, Fincher, and Riddley Scott peaked early.
In regards to Ridley Scott, I wouldn't say he peaked early. He's had success throughout his career. He had Alien in the '70s, Blade Runner in the '80s, Thelma and Louise in the '90s, and a double-whammy in the early '00s with Gladiator and Black Hawk Down. Ask anybody what Ridley Scott's five best films are, and those are probably what you'd get, and that's spanning the majority of his career.


:lmao:
 
Peter Jackson could be considered as another director who peaked later in his career. He was a filmmaker for well over a decade before The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
 
I actually read that magazine. Then it all started going downhill for him.
 
I wouldn't say Spielberg peaked early. His best film came out in 1993, 22 years after Duel. Three of his best films (Saving Private Ryan, Munich, and Lincoln) were even later. I would probably agree that Jaws is his second best.
 

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